I Kinda Fell Off the Face of the Earth

It is kind of embarrassing how long it has been since I posted.  Thank you for the emails asking where I was and if I am okay.  It makes me happy that there are people out there that like to read my ramblings! Life has been like a roller coaster.  My 10 year golden retriever, Maya, has been sick the last two weeks and needing a lot of my attention, then on Sunday my 17 year old cat passed away.
“Snorkel”
I adopted him when I moved to Abaco, and he was by my side through a lot.  It was kind of sudden even though he was 17!
In the midst of all of this I have deadlines looming, and it is not easy for an artist to work when they have emotional and mental stress.
I thought I would post a few projects that I had finished, just so you know I am still around.
“Love Birds”

“Fish Kiss”

“Whimsical Seating”

“Bahama Pottery”

I have more items to show you that I need to photograph and download.  Hopefully I won’t be gone so long in between posts this time.
Thanks again to all of you that checked on me.

Trying to get back on track……..

WOW!!! Can’t believe how long it has been since I blogged last!!  My life spun slightly out of control, but I think I am getting back into the *normal* (whatever that is!) swing of things.
Last week I was supposed to send out some swaps, and I was behind on that ……..
Wanted to tell you about one of them.  It is called “Quiltie Pal Swap”.  Each person in the swap makes a flat quiltie pal, takes it to various locations to take pictures, then sends it off to a secret partner.
My pal is Goombay the Bahama Turtle.
Goombay is a street festival that they have in the Bahamas, and it is also the local soda that is pineapple flavored…..YUM!
First Goombay was in the sea grape trees looking for sea grapes with Trooper, my number one helper!
Then it was off to the vet for her shots to travel, since she is going abroad!
Then a final look at the harbour, here in Marsh Harbour, before her journey begins.
I haven’t received my quiltie pal yet…..maybe this week!
Off to continue catching up on my life 🙂
Have a great week!

Home Sweet Home.

I have spent the last few days finishing some swap projects and trying to get ready for an art show in two weeks!  The first swap quilt I can only show you sneak peeks of since I am not sure if my partner reads my blog, and in this swap we know each other.
This was a swap for a BBQ/Picnic Mini Quilt.
If you are friends with me on facebook, then you saw this quilt yesterday.
Some of my favorite things are in this mini quilt!
Can you guess what they are?
This is being shipped from Florida tomorrow, so when my partner receives it I can post the picture of the entire quilt.
I also had a deadline for a pillow swap.  I am pretty sure my partner does not read my blog, but she doesn’t know who her partner is anyway, so I can show you the entire pillow.
One of her preferences was blues and greens.  I had so much fun making this pillow and had a hard time actually *stopping*!  The fabrics that make up the house in the middle are vintage fabrics.
I embroidered “home sweet home” under the house and added two little blue birds.
I also quilted the grass at the bottom and wanted to add flowers, but wasn’t sure how much of a flower fan my partner was so thought I should STOP!
If I ever get the time to make myself one (she says while daydreaming!) then i will add flowers to the bottom!
And YES…..blue and green AGAIN!!!  Just cant get away from it!
Well, back to working on orders and trying to get some stock for that art show!!

More Mail!!!

Today the mail goodness continued!!!  I received my pillow swap package in the mail! 
I cannot believe how well my partner figured me out!  
Not sure if you can see it too well in this photo, but those four flowers in the middle are crocheted, and the back is totally crocheted!
And the color combination is perfect.  Above I photographed the pillow on my window seat in my studio.  Below it is on my deck (but i would NEVER leave this outside)
And here it is on my couch……
Where, oh where shall I display it?  I will probably keep it on my window seat, in my studio, and put it on my couch when guests come over.  I love this pillow so much!
I am trying to finish up my pillow for my partner so I can mail it out on Monday.
I also received four more blocks for my 3.5 inch block swap……
There is a picnic quilt, a watermelon, utensils and a pitcher of lemonade.  The lemonade block was complete with a lemonade recipe!
Here are the blocks I have so far together.  I have 8 more to receive.
These blocks are going to make a really cute quilt!
My pictures today are a bit dull because it was stormy and overcast when I took them, but couldn’t wait to show you!
Don’t forget this Saturday is the start of the Bead Soup Party reveal!! There are so many jewelry artists participating this round that the group has been split up to show off their creations.  My day is this Saturday.  Come back on Saturday to see my reveal and hop around other jewelry blogs to see what others have created.
See you on Saturday!

Is It Christmas Today????

It sure felt like Christmas in June today!!! I received SEVEN swap packages in the mail!!!  I am not sure I get that many presents at Christmas anymore!
At first I thought I would do one looooonnngggg post with lots of pictures with all the packages, but then thought that each artist deserved more blog time than that.  So I sat down, wrote their names on paper and pulled to see who the first two would be.
The weather has been typical summer weather here with afternoon thunderstorms…….
This is what it was like when i got home.  I dropped my groceries on the kitchen counter, without putting away my soy milk and salad greens, and raced outside to get some photos so I could start blogging.
The first name I pulled was Amy from During Quiet Time Blog, and one of my very generous Flickr friends.  She won a giveaway on my blog, for my 50th post, and this is what she sent me as a “thank you”!!!!
I cannot believe her generosity and kindness!!! And to top it all off…i LOVE this quilt!!  Amy cuts her own printing blocks, so the center square with the sunflower is one of her originals!!  Check out her etsy shop here, and look at her beautiful note cards made from her hand carved blocks.
This little beauty even has a handmade felt bee with embroidery and iridescent wings, and embroidery around the center of the flower.  Thanks so much for the “thank you” Amy…..even though you did not have to!
The quilt was even doggie approved!! I cant do much without their “help”, but don’t worry this quilt is now safe and sound in my studio where only the cats are allowed if I am there.  There is a secret password to get in!!!
The second name I drew was Mandy.  She and I were Black and White plus one color, not square mini quilt partners!!  Say that 5 times, really quickly!  This is the beauty that I got from Mandy….
I cannot get over the hand quilting and beading that is on this gem!
And as if that was not enough……she sent many goodies along with that quilt!
A little bag, scissor bling (i love that), black and white fabrics, pink ric rac, and heart eraser and an Australian magnet!  Mandy is from Australia!
This just made me giggle……
The tag on the bag says “kimmidoll”……how appropriate is that, since I collect Blythes!!
Well, for any of you that have not tried a swap yet, I hope this post and the posts over the next few days will inspire you to start swapping.  I have met some very kind and generous people thru my flickr swaps, and it has proven to me that what you put out, you get back!…..remember that 🙂
See you tomorrow to show you more swap packages!

You could win a class & help me look for some patterns!

A fellow blogger and artist is having a giveaway on her blog for an online class, so I thought I would let you know about it!  It is Melanie Testa, the author of “Inspired to Quilt“.
She is having an online class over at Joggles.com in less than 2 weeks, and if you go to her blog and leave a comment then you may be a lucky winner!
The class is called “Let’s Exchange Some Art“, and will dive into techniques on decorating papers for ATC’s, decorating envelopes and lots of other techniques.  Go to Joggles.com and check out the class description and all the other online classes they offer.
Here are some pictures so you can see what to expect…..

Cool tags…….

ATC’s……..

Today I am madly rushing around, packing up envelopes to be shipped out, and trying to finish more work to send off to waiting swappers and customers.  Below are blocks for a 3.5 inch block swap I am in on flickr.  There are 15 of us in the group and each of us had to make a 3.5 inch block (for each person in the group) with a BBQ or Picnic theme.
What is a picnic without sunshine?

Glad I have these little sunny faces to look at today, because the sun is struggling to come out here.  Some of the other members have done cool  blocks like a hot dog, lemonade, and even a dog catching a Frisbee over a checkered picnic blanket.  Don’t worry when I receive my blocks you will see them here!
So while I was wondering what I would do with these blocks, one morning at 5am, I remembered some block patterns I had purchased in 1999!
They are Piece O Cake patterns called Pin Pals.  Unfortunately this is all I bought…..

Does anyone have any of these?  Maybe you know where I could find more?  HELP!
Let me know please……
Back to packing envelopes and sewing! Have a great day!

Summertime Creations

Summertime is a favorite season for so many people.  It is when beaching and boating are most popular, and everyone works on their summer tans.
This month at Artbeads.com their theme is “Summertime”.  I am now a design partner with Artbeads.com so I was able to choose some items from the Charms, Glass Beads or Pendants categories to work with, review and blog about.
Being a lamp worker I was very happy to pick from the glass beads category.  I picked the 14mm Crystal Fish Bead in the Silver Shade; some Czech Glass Nautical Shells; a Picasso Square Bead Strand in cobalt, white and purple; and TOHO Round Seed Beads 8/0 in Lined Aqua Opal, Lined Dark Aqua and Lined Cobalt.  Glass has the right amount of sparkle and shine,  I was not disappointed in any of these products, and would like to order more for my *stash*!!
Then finally, I chose a few Sterling Silver Mermaid Charms to complete my summer pieces.
Here is the first piece I made…..
I filled the heart pendant with sea glass and shells, then sealed it all in with resin.  I also hung one of the mermaid charms in the front of this pendant.
I used 3 strands of the TOHO seed beads and mixed the Crystal Fish Beads with them.  I then continued the necklace with the Picasso Square Beads and the Glass Nautilus Shells beads.
On the other side I did some sterling silver wire work along with some of my lamp worked beads and a glass disc and sterling silver hook for a clasp.
I absolutely loved the nautilus shell beads and the square glass beads and will be ordering more of these.  The heart bezel pendant will also be in my next order.  I was making these myself from sterling silver, but these are so easy to work with and can keep my costs down.
Here is a close-up of the pendant…..
And another picture of the entire necklace…..
I also think the Crystal Fish Beads work so well with the seed beads and add just the right amount of sparkle.  Who doesn’t like *sparkle*!?
Of course no necklace is complete without a matching pair of earrings, so here is what I made using the seed beads and Sterling Silver Mermaid Charms. These mermaid charms are the perfect size for earrings.
From another angle…..
Still having beads left over from Artbeads.com and ideas popping into my head I came up with this abstract, art quilt which I am calling “Bahama Bubbles”.
After piecing and quilting this art quilt, I hand stitched the seed beads on to look like bubbles and then stitched on the Nautilus Shell Glass Beads, as if they were on the ocean floor.  Both the lined seed beads and the glass shell beads add just the right amount of quirky-ness to this piece which measures about 7″ x 11″.  Here is another picture of the quilt before I added the blue nautilus shell beads, and when the sun was out…….

So even if you are a quilter, or mixed media artist, remember to try out other objects on your artwork.  Even items that are normally considered for jewelry artists!  Think outside the box!
I hope these items inspire you to make something summery and get ready for the summer season!


The Artbeads.com products in this post were provided as a promotional gift by Artbeads.com, as part of their Design Partner & Blogging program.  I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion – good or bad.  My comments and opinions about these products are my honest, personal opinion and I have not been paid for any endorsement.


My Abaco Treasures

There are some days that island life can be so frustrating!  I told you in my last post about the power outages, that are unfortunately still continuing. (Thank goodness my husband sells Honda generators!)
Then there is the slow, local mail service, lack of selection on groceries….I could go on and on….but thankfully I focus on the positive…..our beautiful surroundings……and who cares if i can’t get fresh salad greens if I have this to look at…..
Days spent island hopping with friends are priceless!  I even got to meet and spend some time with a lady I met briefly a year ago.  I could have sat and chatted with her and her husband all afternoon!  We have been Facebook friends for the last year and today got to sit down, chit chat and have some laughs.  They live in Savannah, Georgia (one of my favorite places on earth!) and were generous enough to give me some hand milled grits and rice, made at their home!  I cannot wait to try them!
On that journey yesterday I was also fortunate enough to find a vintage quilt.  I think the fabrics are probably from the 50’s or 60’s.
A small bucket full of antique pottery pieces from way back when!
This photo above is just a sampling of it.
There are unusual colors in there like green, purple and brown also!
I want to find out more about some of these pieces…….their history and the story behind them, but my ultimate goal is to make them into jewelry components.  There are some larger pieces with crests and writing on them.  It is difficult for me to read, but I am sure if seen by someone who knows what they are doing, it will be easily identifiable.
So I thought I would share some of the treasures I found from the place I call home.
Hope you have a great weekend!

Swaps Gifts and E-Courses!!!

We know summer has started here in Abaco when we start having multiple power outages everyday!!!
UGH!!!!
It has made me get VERY behind on work, blogging and swapping.
When I have had time to surf the internet, I have been taking an e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts, called “Flying Lessons”  It is about making your creative business soar.  It just started on Sunday and I am enjoying every moment so far.
Today she talked about doing other e-courses and blogging.  So I went searching for more e-courses I could take.
I found a photography course called “Picture Summer”, by Tracey Clark, and thought this would be good for me since I have a very nice Canon Rebel, don’t really know how to use it and I am never pleased with the pictures I take of my artwork or for my blog.  It is only a 30 day course and hopefully it will push me to play with my camera and try some new things.
While the power was out earlier I was playing with my muse, Sunshine, and the camera…..
Then I ran out after lunch to pick up my mail and more swap envelopes were awaiting me!!!!!
From Jennie at www.cloverandviolet.com I received my embroidery quilt.
This is so pretty and summery!!!! Thanks so much Jennie!  It is the perfect little embroidery quilt!
I also received my Anything Goes Mini Quilt from Sara of SaraSQuilts on Flickr.
I cannot believe how small she made those flying geese!!! And I love all the colorful fabrics with the solid gray!! Thank you Sara…I LOVE IT!!!
Also awaiting me was another African Flower crochet block from the Raverly Swap….from Val in the UK!
Along with two little coasters, some candy and a pair of stitch markers.  Thanks so much Val!!
So this was my whole bundle here…..
I’ll be back soon to show you some new jewelry pieces.
Time to run off and do some agility with my dog and her doggie friends at class!

While I Wait for the Kiln

The worst part about flame working is waiting for the beads to be annealed in the kiln!!!
So while I wait on those to make some new jewelry pieces I thought I’d show you some things I have made for swaps.
This wall hanging was done for an Embroidery Quilt Swap on the Quilting Bloggers website.
I hadn’t done embroidery in years, so this took me a while, but once I got the embroidery done and started working on the borders, quilting and embellishing….I could not stop adding things.
I sure hope my partner likes it.  I would have shown this to you last week, but I forgot that this was a secret swap.  Plus my partner doesn’t have a blog or a flickr account so I doubt she will see it.  I had no idea what direction to go in since I couldn’t snoop around her blog or look at her favorites on flickr.
I also had to finish some African Flower blocks for a Raverly Swap I am in.  Each month I make 5 of these and send them off to the people who’s month it is.  When my month comes around I will receive about 50 of these (I showed you my first one last week) to make something with.  I won’t be able to decide what I will make until I have all my flowers!
I also had to show you my new garden friend!  This mama frog has decided to hang out by my orchids.
I wanted to re-pot some of the orchids yesterday, but did not want to risk this jumping on me.  I had already disturbed her but thankfully she sat right there….through the photo shoot and all!